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Insights from Priya Oberoi: A Q&A with Sam Shead for VC Wednesdays

🚨 After more than a decade in private equity, Priya Oberoi is now building a £100m (€117m) venture fund to invest in women’s health, wellness and femtech startups. She talks to Sam Shead for VC Wednesdays, a weekly series featuring a Q&A interview with a venture capitalist. 

🖊️  Why is women’s healthcare so underfunded?

The VC industry has historically been dominated by white, middle class men, who typically invest in companies and products that they know and can relate to. Women’s healthcare is a $1tn market that has been untouched by traditional investors, or if it has, it’s an outlier in many funds' portfolios. Hopefully, as the VC industry becomes more diverse, we will see more investments in the sector. 

🖊️ What is your firm’s USP?

Goddess Gaia Ventures (GGV) is Europe’s first and only dedicated women’s health investment fund. Investing since 2021, GGV invests in pioneering technology businesses built to offer personalised healthcare to the four billion women worldwide. We invest in five core pillars – women’s fertility, women’s cancer, women’s wellness, women’s chronic diseases, and femtech products and services. 

As a two-time cancer survivor, I know first-hand the challenges women face, and I am passionate about building a fund that delivers significant returns for investors, founders, and the women set to benefit from the new products and services brought to market. 

🖊️ What challenges have you had to overcome when raising your £100m fund?

The main challenge has been witnessing the disconnect between the market opportunity for women’s healthcare and institutional investors. LPs can be nervous when looking to invest in a fund where they don’t automatically understand the market they’re investing in. However, this is a tired excuse. The first investors in AI-focused funds probably didn’t understand the market opportunity either – but took a calculated bet. There is money to be made in women’s healthcare – at last count, 112 businesses at the Seed-Series A stage scaled to an average exit of $301 million. 

🖊️ What overlaps have you found between VC and law?

After working as a finance lawyer for twelve years at Allen & Overy and Clifford Chance, I founded a boutique investment firm which focused on private equity deals in healthcare, hydrocarbons and sports. This was an important part of my transition into the VC world. Over my career I have seen deals’ entire trajectories – public market deals as a lawyer, private equity deals in my boutique investment firm, angel investment deals as a private investor, and now as a VC. I know what a successful company should look like, so now I am reverse engineering the process at GGV. 


There are many other skills which overlap too. In both professions, you need strong analytical skills, a keen eye for details, strong communication skills and the ability to conduct thorough due diligence. 


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